I gave myself a few rules for the selection process:
- Heroine will be defined as a woman who achieves (or attempts to achieve) physical or intellectual goals either as an equal member in a group, a leader, or on her own.
- A mother will be defined as a woman who either gives birth to and participates in the raising of children OR a woman who adopts (de facto or literally) a child and participates in their raising.
- They must actually be heroines while being mothers. It doesn't count if she was a heroine in her younger days, and then stopped being one when she got pregnant and had kids. It also doesn't count if she wallows in despair because she lost manly man, gives birth, and then decides to die (I'm looking at you, Padme Amidala).
#5 -- Sarah Jane Smith (Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures)
Saves the world a bunch of times? Check. Has a genius kid who's slightly obnoxious, but still lovable? Check. Has a wicked super computer? Check. Is completely and utterly capable of being a badass while handling the responsibilities of being a parent? Check.
One of my favorite Sarah Jane moments: reminding Davros in "Journey's End" with little more than the tone of her voice that she was there in the beginning, on Skaro -- sort of like rubbing salt in an open wound. There's a reason Sarah Jane Smith remains a favorite among Whovians. It's because she's awesome.
#4 -- Dr. Beverly Crusher (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
#3 -- Sharon "Athena" Agathon (Battlestar Galactica)
#2 -- Sarah Connor (The Terminator Series)
#1 -- Ellen Ripley (The Aliens Series)
She may not be a "traditional" mom, but she does essentially become a surrogate in Aliens and then a much more creepy mother in Alien Resurrection. But we'll focus on Aliens, where Newt Gingrich's future cousin, who is also named after an amphibian, is taken under the wing by one of the greatest would-be-mothers in the science fiction universe. And what happens when the greatest female heroine in science fiction becomes a surrogate mother? This:
Who would you add to this list and why?
Runner up: My mom. She may not be a space ninja or whatever, but she does live in an alternate reality in her head. Plus, she's my mom and had to deal with me through my teen years. Somehow she survived. Kudos to her. And happy Mother's Day.